Thursday, April 26, 2012

As You Like It

Last night, I attended Vermont Stage Company's season closer As You Like It at the Flynnspace in Burlington. Having worked briefly on the show hanging lights, it was a treat to see the performance that my adviser John (who designed lights and also was the technical director for this show) talked about and built while we were running APPetite.

I enjoyed the performance very much. True to the nature of Shakespeare, it included a highly energetic cast of cross-dressing role-swapping men and women, various subplots and love affairs, lots of slapstick humor and modern-day references, and some songs inbetween scenes. I was impressed by how believable every character was even with multiple roles played by the same actor. The minimalistic set and use of the space-- oriented in an arena style-- were also admirable. There was a breathtaking moment with flower petals that caused myself and my friends, also technicians and designers, to hold our collective breath; that moment in every good performance where I remember why I do and love this.

As You Like It is showing through May 6th; don't miss out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring at Saint Mike's

 It has been a few weeks since I posted because things have gotten so busy! APPetite, the spring mainstage and my senior showcase in lighting design, opened successfully last week, and this week is the last chance to see it. (Friday and Saturday are sold out; email for tonight and Thursday's reservations!) I am pleased with my work and will write another update concluding that process soon. 

Last Saturday, I attended UVM's 9th Annual Tolkien Conference, which I was invited to write about for Geek Mountain State. You can find that article here! I tried to remain positive, though the topic of the conference (Tolkien's Bestiary) was a difficult one to really connect deeper meanings, and only a few papers stood out. However, as a part of the Tolkien & Medievalism class here at Saint Mike's, it was a great experience to see what other people are researching on the subject.

I also saw a production of The Imaginary Invalid at Middlebury College over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was high-quality work and despite some trouble getting in with the box office, I found myself wondering why Saint Mike's theater doesn't interact more with Middlebury. Perhaps that is a route for the Drama Club to explore.

Vermont Stage Company opens As You Like It tonight, the final show of their season this year at the Flynnspace in Burlington. With my adviser John Devlin the acting technical director as well as lighting designer for this show, myself and some other Saint Mike's theater students got some good work experience in. I'm so glad this is a connection we have been able to cultivate this year! Don't miss out on the show. Also, for all my actor friends out there, VSC is holding auditions for a special project of Eurydice Monday, April 23rd in Burlington-- contact for a slot and more information.

In other news, graduation is approaching! I picked up my cap and gown and study abroad sash today. I wish I could enjoy my last few weeks, but I'm really stressed out about my classes. I'm behind in Tolkien, working hard on my Shakespeare independent study, need to start (and complete) a costume for Costume Crafts, not to mention Senior Seminar, which has been piling exams and follow-up papers and especially my portfolio. I know it's  best to take things one day at a time...but I'm having a hard time not panicking. And I have a nasty cold! At least the weather has been nice. I took my camera out a few days ago.

 More updates soon, when things are less crazy. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

APPetite: SMC Spring Mainstage

I wrote last time about my lighting design for Appetite, my senior seminar project. Now we are less than a week from opening and completely done with the tech process (with an inconveniently placed Easter break right before the show, we decided to get things done beforehand!), and the show has changed even more with the addition of technical elements such as a completed set, props, lighting, and projections. Tech was an adjustment process for all of the designers because of the shifting nature of the show, but I for one am very pleased with how it has turned out, especially my lighting design.
Appetite is an interesting piece because it is devised theater, conceived and written completely by the cast and director Cathy Hurst. Through it, we can examine our use of technology and how our addiction affects our relationships and our own health. Follow Hannah (senior Amanda Mulligan) as she returns from study abroad and faces the changes in the people around her, especially her sister Claire (senior Liz Levenson), who is a workaholic. The show culminates in an event that will make (or break) their relationships. Add sub-plots of romantic relationships, changing friendships, and accompaniment songs written and performed by first-year Zach Dyer, this show is perfect for students and parents alike.

Appetite performs April 11-14 and 18-21 at 7:30pm in the McCarthy Arts Center. Seating is limited, so please email for your reservation. 17 Saint Michael's College students are featured in this unique project; it is Liz Levenson's and Amanda Mulligan's senior showcase project for acting as well as my own for lighting design. Projection design by sophomore Alan Hefferon; scenic design by John Devlin; costume design by Peter Harrigan. Check out the Seven Days article on Appetite here.